HVAC systems are one of the most important components of a home. They work to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature year-round. There have been significant advancements in HVAC technology over the years. This read offers a guide to the latest HVAC technology for homeowners.
1. The Basics of Your Home’s HVAC System
There are four key components in every HVAC system that work together to maintain a comfortable indoor environment. While different models and brands have unique features and vary in quality, the fundamental elements are similar. The furnace heats air through a heat exchanger using natural gas or oil. This component is typically found in the attic, basement, or, in some cases, a custom closet.
The AC unit uses electricity and a refrigerant to cool the air. As the hot air passes through the air conditioning unit, it pushes it outside while blasting cool air into the home. Unlike furnaces, you’ll typically find air conditioning units on the home’s exterior.
HVAC is an abbreviation for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Modern central heating and air conditioning systems use the latest HVAC technology to deliver efficient heating and cooling for your home. The thermostat serves as the system’s brain and is the component you interact with the most.
It’s responsible for controlling your home’s temperature levels and the other system features. It switches the different components of your system on and off to promote energy efficiency. The ductwork is the transport system for cool and hot air through your home. Contractors factor in ductwork during construction, usually installing it behind walls and above ceilings.
2. How to Tell What Equipment You Have
When scheduling maintenance, repairs, or replacement, knowing the HVAC equipment you have is important. Luckily, there are ways to determine the type of HVAC equipment you have in your home. One of the easiest is to check the labels.
Most HVAC pieces of equipment come with a label that includes the model and make of the unit. The label may also include details such as the year of manufacture, the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating, and other important information that can offer more insight into the system’s capabilities. You can find more information in the owner’s manual.
You can also determine the type of equipment you have by looking at the thermostat, which is often the most visible component of HVAC systems. If you have a digital thermostat, you’ll likely find information on the type of equipment on the screen. For instance, it may indicate if you have a heat pump, air conditioner, or furnace. The thermostat may also have specific settings for different types of HVAC equipment, such as a setting for a heat pump defrost cycle.
If you still don’t know what type of equipment you have, consult a professional. When you hire an HVAC technician, they’ll inspect your system and provide all the information you seek. They may advise on the best action if your equipment requires upkeep or repairs. A professional can suggest replacement options if your HVAC system is old or ineffective.
3. How to Find a Modern HVAC Company
To maximize your HVAC system’s useful life and get the latest HVAC technology, you must schedule regular HVAC service with a reputable company. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure you get nothing less than stellar service. For example, you can consult online reviews to learn more about an HVAC contractor’s quality of service. The Better Business Bureau is also a great resource.
Ask family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, or anyone you trust for referrals and their experience working with a contractor. However, don’t just take their word for it; some may be biased. Always work with a company with years of experience working on the type of system you have. Doing this will ensure you get the best service for your system.
If a contractor doesn’t offer onsite evaluation and insists on an over-the-phone estimate, it’s a sign that they won’t have time for you, and you should continue your search. Be sure to check the credentials of each company you’re considering. Ask for proof of insurance to ensure they’ll cover you in case of property damage. They should also have worker’s compensation to cover on-the-job injuries and the appropriate state and local licensing.
Not all service agreements are the same. One thing to check is whether or not the service agreement proposal covers labor and parts. If the service proposal isn’t clear, ask for clarification, but it’s also a cause for concern. A contractor should be straightforward about their offerings.
Schedule appointments with multiple residential HVAC contractors to discuss your heating and cooling needs. Ask any questions you may have to gauge their customer service. You want a contractor who’ll address your concerns, regardless of how simple they may be.
4. The Latest Advancements in Heating and Cooling
Since the invention of the first electric furnace, HVAC technology has advanced significantly. The race for highly intelligent, completely automated HVAC solutions is still ongoing. This interest has given birth to interesting innovations in heating and cooling services.
Imagine being able to turn your AC unit on 15 minutes before you get home from work. There are smart HVAC solutions that allow you to switch your system on and off remotely. You can connect these systems to your home Wi-Fi and access them from your mobile device.
There has also been a growing interest in sustainable or green technology for HVAC systems. It typically entails considering the natural movement of air and depending on a more efficient system. One of the latest HVAC technology, geothermal heating and cooling system offers a way to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
These systems naturally cool a home using water, underground piping, and heat pumps. They exchange heat with the earth and don’t use refrigerant, reducing their environmental impact. In the winter months, these systems absorb heat from the ground. In the summer, they absorb heat from the building and transfer it to the ground.
5. How to Add HVAC equipment to an Old Home
Modern temperature control systems present unique challenges for older homes, primarily because adding ductwork will necessitate significant demolition. Luckily, you can opt for ductless systems. Ductless air conditioners, sometimes called mini-split systems, offer several benefits.
With this system, you can end any arguments your family may have over the temperature in your home. Because units are present in different rooms, this mini split HVAC system allows for zoned temperature control. This feature means each family member can adjust the temperature of the room they’re occupying to their preferred level.
A ductless system, one of the latest HVAC technology, will also improve the air quality in your home, which is important if any of your family members suffer from allergies or asthma. In contrast to conventional HVAC systems, this system doesn’t feature ductwork that would otherwise allow dust, dirt, and other debris to accumulate. It uses multi-layer filtration to reduce the allergens, dust, and pollutants that make their way into your home. It’s also superior at dehumidifying homes.
A ductless air conditioning system’s small size is one of its best features. Central HVAC systems are large and complex, while window units are obtrusive and unsightly. They take up room in the attic or basement and require extensive ductwork.
Ductless systems feature two main parts: the outdoor condenser or heat pump and the indoor air handler. You can connect up to four indoor air handlers of different rooms to one outdoor unit. If you prefer a more discreet option, you can opt for a ceiling cassette rather than a wall unit.
6. What About Smart HVAC Equipment?
One of the latest HVAC technology, a smart HVAC system gives homeowners greater control over comfort and improves performance and efficiency by employing advanced equipment and automated controls. Intuitively or remotely, the system adjusts to suit your needs and preferences. You can use your smartphone to control the system.
The features of your system will determine the level of comfort it delivers. Most smart systems have smart sensors, thermostats, and a smartphone app. A smart thermostat of a mini split air conditioner automatically adjusts the temperature of different rooms according to variables like current room humidity, temperature, and occupancy.
Smart sensors allow a system to maintain efficiency by monitoring internal and external factors. With smart vents, you can turn off vents in rooms with no occupancy, resulting in year-round energy savings. The smartphone app makes it possible to control your heating and cooling remotely.
7. How to Find Services for Smart Systems
Finding HVAC services for smart systems differs slightly from finding traditional air conditioner contractors. First, check whether your manufacturer has a list of authorized or preferred service providers in your area. You should also make sure to work with certified smart HVAC system contractors. One important certification for smart systems is the NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certification.
Another factor to consider is experience. The latest HVAC technology present unique maintenance and repair needs that conventional HVAC contractors can’t address. Look for a company with experience working on your system.
Get multiple quotes from different contractors to compare prices and services offered. Doing this will ensure you make an informed decision. Remember to check if the contractor offers warranties for their services.
8. How to Manage Your Energy Usage
Even with the most energy-efficient system, you must intentionally manage your energy usage. A timeless tip is to keep up with routine system maintenance. Set up a maintenance program with a qualified HVAC contractor to ensure your system always operates efficiently.
Heating and cooling units have optimum temperature ranges to ensure energy efficiency. Review your owner’s manual to find your system’s recommended temperature range. Operating it out of this range will cause it to work harder and less efficiently.
Most individuals only consider sealing air leaks during the colder months, but you should also do the same during hotter months. Leaks lower your HVAC system’s efficiency since cooled or heated air is lost. Ensure you close all doors and windows and have good weather seals.
You may not think much about the air filters, but they significantly impact the overall energy efficiency of a system. Change your filters at least once a month. Doing this will ensure your unit has uninterrupted airflow and doesn’t use excessive energy.
9. What It takes to Install a Geothermal System
One of the latest HVAC technology is a geothermal system. Its installation begins with a site assessment that aims to determine the feasibility of a geothermal system. It involves evaluating the soil conditions, drilling access, and available space for the system.
After the site assessment, the contractor creates a design that meets the property’s heating and cooling needs. A geothermal system features a ground loop, a network of pipes that transfer heat to and from the earth. There are two types of ground loop systems you can opt for, horizontal or vertical. Your contractor will consider conditions such as your property’s size and soil conditions before making a recommendation.
Once they install the ground loop, they’ll install HVAC system components such as the heat pump and ductwork. Next, they’ll perform electrical work, such as powering the heat pump and connecting the control panel. After completing the installation, the contractors commission the system to ensure it’s functioning correctly and efficiently. It typically includes testing the system’s performance and adjusting settings to meet a home’s heating and cooling needs.
Remember to keep up with maintenance after the system is in place. Doing this ensures timely geothermal HVAC system repairs. Maintenance checks involve inspecting the system, replacing filters, and checking the refrigerant levels.
10. Why You Should Invest in Modern Insulation
As you consider upgrading to the latest HVAC technology, remember the insulation. Your home’s insulation significantly impacts the efficiency of your HVAC system as it works to prevent heat loss. A well-insulated home maintains the desired temperature all year round. There are other reasons why modern insulation is superior.
They offer a healthier alternative to older insulation materials such as asbestos and vermiculite. Modern solutions are typically free of harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde. Upgrading your insulation also increases your home’s value as energy-efficient features increasingly become a priority for homebuyers.
HVAC Systems play an important role in the home. Understanding the latest advancements in HVAC technology will help you take advantage. Use this read as a guide to the latest HVAC technology for homeowners.